Lincoln Elementary students laced up their shoes and grabbed their bicycles as they walked and biked to school Wednesday, Oct. 2 for International Walk to School Day. Students walked with siblings, parents, friends and even babysitters to school despite the drizzle and cool temperatures.

Sherry Hart with Carealot Daycare in Gering said she enjoys her morning and afternoon walks to the school.

“I enjoy the conversations you get to have with them,” she said. “I walk everyday with preschoolers and elementary students in the morning and come back after school.”

As she and the students walk, Hart said she teaches them safety.

“I want to instill a sense of safety, so they are watching for cars when they’re crossing the street,” Hart said. “I’ve told them to wait for the driver to wave them on before going into the street.”

Once the students got to the block next to the school, they were greeted by student council crossing helpers. The student council members were dressed in reflective and light up vests and carried a light up stop sign.

Emme Tofflemire was one of Wednesday’s crossing helpers, which she said is a tough job.

“It’s hard trying to get the kids across the street,” Tofflemire said. “I want to keep the kids safe.”

Tracy Steele, Lincoln Elementary fifth grade teacher, stood at one of the corners to help the crossing helpers control traffic and cross the street safely.

“I want the public to watch out for the flashing vest,” Steele said.

Steele added the school plans to add more students as crossing helpers in the future.

Brooke Greene and Lilly Moser also helped their peers cross the street for walk and bike to school day.

Moser said they struggled getting the cars to pull over on the side of the road.

“It’s hard making kids stay in the cars and pull over on the side,” Moser said.

Greene said she also paid attention to passing cars before having her peers cross the street, so no one got hurt.

“Cars should know we are there,” Greene said. “Speed is important.”

Greene and Moser both walked to school Wednesday and said they enjoy the exercise.

“We always walk,” Moser said. “It fun just being able to get outside and not just sitting in a car on the way to school.”

Greene added, “Walking is good so you can exercise and be stronger when you grow up.”

After arriving at the school, the students walked with signs reading, “Safety Starts with Me” and “Safety for Kids, Everyone Wins.”

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Lauren Brant is a reporter with the Star-Herald and the Gering Courier. Contact her at 308-632-9043 or by email at lauren.brant@starherald.com.

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